Advice for Turning 40

Leslie Bailey asked the Maven membership community what she should know about turning 40. Here's what they had to say.
Silver number balloons "40" against blue sky.

Leslie BaileyIn honor of our cofounder and CEO Leslie Bailey’s 40th Birthday on February 16, 2024, we asked our member community what she should know about life after 40. Here’s what they had to say.

Here’s what I know:

Life is short. 

Listen to your body (it will start talking more!) and have trusted experts on hand to discuss. Double down on your health because it impacts EVERYthing.

Buy the earrings, eat the cupcake, and if that thing in the thrift store makes you happy, buy it.

Keep challenging your brain and invest your time in a cause that fulfills you.

Finally, because life is short, take all the pictures and tell your people you love them NOW. 

— Shannon Cagle Dawson

There is significant research that shows that women are the most productive in their entire lives in the years between 70 and 80.

— Elizabeth Kraft Taylor

Well, I am not too far into my forties (42). I have thoroughly enjoyed every stage thus far, especially with raising children, but I don’t think for a minute I would wish to go back in time. I am REALLY digging this busy season we are currently in. Being a mom of two middle schoolers (son,14, and daughter, 12) who are active in ALL the sports, and now an official business owner, I am embracing all of the tiring moments and the challenges. It wasn’t until my late 30s, after going through a terrible season of anxiety and depression, that I emerged stronger in my faith, my confidence, and my purpose. Once you fall in love with those things (including YOURSELF), can you then overflow and pour into others. I love servicing and volunteering in our community and helping others in whatever ways I am able.

— Amanda

Advice from my mid-50s: Surround yourself with people who support your life choices. Even if they made different choices for themselves – staying home to raise kids, moving away, divorcing, starting a business, whatever it is – friends are those who support and cheer you through all life changes. 

— Jennifer Young Dzwonar

Your role in the mentoring space is about to change drastically. You are entering a space where there are just as many coming up behind you as there are ahead of you. Take a genuine interest in the ones who are coming up, and invest your most valuable resource – TIME! – to help them along. The rewards are freakin’ amazing.

— Becky Doemland | Good Works Indy

I’m halfway through my 40’s and I’ve slowly come to this realization.

All my life, I have had this hustle mentality. I moved out at 17. On to the next thing. Work hard. Achieve more. Not because of a desire for material things but because I’ve always felt I had no one to rely on but me. No wealthy family. No spouse to share the burden.

I’m a first-generation college student and homeowner. I’ve always felt this pressure.

Suddenly, in my 40s, I started thinking, “What is the end goal?” “Can I slow down?” It scared me. I wondered if this was a mid-life crisis. I blamed the pandemic. Finally, my bestie, who is also a therapist, reminded me that I AM SAFE.

The life I worked so hard for, I now have. And maybe some of the life I thought I wanted no longer serves me. It’s still uncomfortable to not always be an over-achiever. I’m still learning what this means for me.

But it feels like I’m discovering a whole new me in my 40’s and I’m giving myself permission to do so.

Cheers to a new decade of growth!

— Stephanie, J.

What to know at 40 – please:

Gaining weight is twice as fast, and takes twice as long to lose it.

Focus on strength; muscle mass goes quickly.

Kegels. I’m pushing 50, and I wish I had done more.

Keep a pair of good tweezers, good ones, in your car, purse and every bathroom at home. Chin hairs. Ugh.

In your mid to late 40s, watch out for early signs of menopause and talk to your doctor. I thought I had long-term COVID or was losing my mind. One very small estrogen pill daily helped within a week.  

— Anonymous

Have advice for Leslie? She loves to hear it. Email or follow her on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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